The Gaslamp District of San Diego is a small section of town that is considered to be the historic center of the city. The Gaslamp District is only about 16 and a half blocks large in size. However, this part of the city hosts many festivals and is considered an excellent place to explore the San Diego nightlife. The San Diego Gaslamp District is also included on the United States National Register of Historic Places.
The idea for the Gaslamp District was first conceived by Alonzo Horton in the late 1860s. Horton, who owned the land that is now the Gaslamp District, wanted to create a newer center for the city, close to the bay. For a time, Horton's idea flourished. However, by the 1950s, the Gaslamp District had fallen into squalor and was known as a somewhat unsavory part of the city.
Luckily, in the 1970s, San Diego decided that it should attempt to preserve the buildings and history of the Gaslamp District. It was designated as a historic area and plans for its refurbishment and upkeep were soon implemented. The area underwent major redevelopment in the 1980s, and by the 1990s the Gaslamp District was once again a booming area for businesses of all kinds.
Today, the Gaslamp District of San Diego is a modern, thriving area of the city. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The area retains its name in respect to the gas lamps the streets once boasted. Although only a few gas lamps can be found there now, the Gaslamp District manages to mix a feeling of tradition and modernity to create a unique and entertaining section of the city.
Things to Do
If you want to see what goes on behind-the-scenes at this infamous ballpark, consider taking the Petco Park guided tour. You can see the press box, walk through the Padres dugout, and stand in the middle of the field to see just how it feels to be a professional ball player. The 1-hour tour is a great choice for families and loyal baseball fans.
If you are looking for a kid-friendly attraction, venture just miles away from the district and take the family to Balboa Park. At the park, you can view different architecture, ride the carousel, take a trip on the miniature railroad, and even view the photographic arts building. Balboa Park is a great place to spend the day and unwind in the evening to have a beautiful picnic.
The Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase
If you have a passion for vehicles of all sorts, you cannot forget to stop by the Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase. You will be given the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the most iconic models you have only ever dreamed of seeing in person. This family-friendly event is open to the public and located just minutes from all of the most delicious restaurants in the Quarter.
The Gaslamp District is known for a lot of things. One thing it is known most for is entertainment. If you enjoy live music, you can watch a number of different local and professional artists perform at one of the many venues located in the Gaslamp Quarter Downtown. At Croce's Restaurant and Bar, listen to live jazz as you enjoy American dishes. At Cafe Sevilla, enjoy Spanish dishes while you listen to local salsa and meringue musicians perform. At the Shout! House, you can watch pianists battle away while you sip and eat appetizers. If you are looking for food and entertainment at once, all of these venues should be on your list.
The San Diego Zoo
Located inside Balboa Park is the San Diego Zoo. If you are up for an entire day of fun, the San Diego Zoo is sure to offer you the fun you want away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown. With more than 4000 different rare species calling the San Diego Zoo home, you will get the opportunity to view species you that are not only rare, but also endangered.
Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar
While visiting the Gaslamp District, San Diego, visit Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar, which is named for the late singer and songwriter Jim Croce, and located E and F Streets. The restaurant features great food and a house jazz band. You and your party can enjoy ribs, sausage, seafood, pasta and much more.
For fun and delicious fare, try Searsucker, which is located near the East Village in the Gaslamp District. They serve food such as duck fat fries, shrimp and grits, habanero pickle and much more. This spot that brims with personality, ambiance, and fine service.
East Village's La Puerta
If you and your party have a taste for Mexican food, a trip to the Gaslamp District near the East Village's La Puerta will satisfy your appetites. Their salsa, guacamole, and grilled chicken tacos are patron favorites at this bustling restaurant.
The Field is an Irish Pub, located in the Gaslamp District near the East Village, between Island Avenue and Market Street. You and your party can visit to enjoy the lively atmosphere. You can order pub favorites such as fish & chips and potato skins for an evening of lighthearted fun and dining.
Oceanaire Seafood Room
The Oceanaire Seafood Room, which you can find between 4th and 5th Avenues, is a great place for a special occasion or quiet celebration. A few items that patrons enjoy include blackened fish topped with blue cheese butter, oysters on the half shell, crabcakes, scallops and much more. The wine and dessert lists are also brimming with delights for fans.
Taka will satisfy your taste for sushi. You can find this spot Island Avenue and Market Street. The welcoming staff and lively decor are only the tip of the iceberg for your sushi dining experience at Taka where you will be able to enjoy your favorite sushi items, which are masterfully prepared. Some customer favorites include the salmon, shrimp tempura, and hamachi kama, among many other classics.
If you and your family have a taste for pizza, visit Gaslamp Pizza, which you can find in the Gaslamp District, between Island Avenue and Market Street. You and your party can order anything from barbecue chicken pizza to vegetable sandwiches, as well as classic toppings. Enjoy the restaurant's large servings.
In the heart of the Gaslamp District, between E and F Streets, you can find Italian fare at De'Medici. You and your party can enjoy all types of pasta or a classic rib eye steak.
One of the main modes of transportation when traveling in or around the Gaslamp District in San Diego is by car. With plenty of garages and metered parking, residents and travelers alike will find it easy to park when in the Gaslamp District. Beware of the time limits on street parking, including metered parking as the rules are strictly enforced. Other than parking, the Gaslamp District and surrounding areas do not experience much in the way of traffic so traveling in, out, and through the area should be relatively easy. Moreover, a car, whether rented or one's own, will allow travelers to see other nearby sights such as Coronado Island, Old Town, Hillcrest, Mission Valley, and more.
If travelers are only leaving the Gaslamp District to go to places like Old Town, or out east, or even down to San Ysidro for shopping, the San Diego Trolley is available. The trolley is limited to the downtown area, including the Gaslamp District, but it does reach up to Old Town going north, out to Santee going east, and down to the border between the U.S. and Mexico going south. The Trolley is a fantastic way to get an old style feel of the downtown area as well as see some of the scenic sides of San Diego.
The San Diego bus system is another option that has a farther reach than the trolley does. If travelers do not intend on renting a car, the bus is a great way to get to cities further out from the Gaslamp District. Similarly, if travelers want go further out in the downtown area, a bus a viable option.
For those staying within the bounds of the downtown area, they may find that bicycles are the best way to get around. San Diego is a bike-friendly city that has numerous bike lanes throughout the area, including Gaslamp and surrounding areas. This is how many native San Diegans get around and therefore a great way to get a local feel of the city. Bikes can be ridden down to the harbor for fantastic views, up to Hillcrest and other areas easily.
Walking is perhaps the best way to experience the Gaslamp District. Many residents choose this mode of transportation because it is good for the environment. Also, many of the things to see and do, like Balboa Park, are within walking distance.
Sports and Recreation
Coronado Men's Golf Club
Since it's opening in 1957, the Coronado Men's Golf Club has dominated as a popular golf course among locals and tourists alike. Even former President, Bill Clinton once played here. Offering splendid views of the city skyline, the Coronado Bridge and the San Diego Bay, this scenic 17-hole course features a driving range, pro shop, and a coffee shop.
Jolt'n Joe's is an attractive sports bar where guests can kick back and enjoy recreational activities like ping pong and table pool. This large facility offers seven ping pong tables, nine pool tables and a wide dancing floor as well as three patios and 40 state-of-the-art televisions.
Home to the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball team, Petco Park is a huge outdoor ballpark featuring a capacity of more than 42,000 seats. Serving also as a venue for major music concerts, Petco Park offers fans spectacular views of the San Diego Bay and city skyline.
Covering 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is a popular public park containing vast green space areas, historic landmarks, museums, theaters, restaurants and the famous San Diego Zoo. Visitors at Balboa Park will find many trails for walking and gardens for exploring. Additionally situated within this huge park is the Balboa Stadium where visitors can watch football games and soccer matches.
Wave House Athletic Club
An excellent facility featuring state-of-the-art fitness equipment, the Wave House Athletic Club offers various fitness programs that include yoga and aquatic classes. The facility boasts the largest, heated indoor pool in the Southern California region, known as the Plunge. Guests can swim in the pool as well as participate in swimming and surfing classes.
Toby Wells YMCA
Covering six acres and containing more than 45,000 square feet, this YMCA facility offers modern cardio and cross training equipment as well as an indoor pool, indoor soccer arena, spa and outdoor playground. Guests can engage in activities like indoor cycling, dancing, gymnastics, personal training, and nutritional programs. The facility also offers free yoga and water exercise classes.
Cabrillo Recreation Center
At the Cabrillo Recreation Center, guests can enjoy tennis, soccer, softball, basketball, and yoga classes. The center also offers a children's playground and a community building. Additionally, the center hosts summer youth camps every year.
FAQs about hotels near Gaslamp Quarter
How much does a cheap hotel near Gaslamp Quarter cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel near Gaslamp Quarter can be as cheap as $101.90 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel near Gaslamp Quarter cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel near Gaslamp Quarter has been $132.29 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a luxury hotel near Gaslamp Quarter cost?
In the last year, the average 4 star hotel near Gaslamp Quarter has been $183.58 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)